Thursday, October 26, 2006

Denver Blizzard

Early this morning we got another winter storm. The worst of it is hitting south of Denver and in the mountains. Here near Boulder we've gotten about 4 inches. The worst hit are seeing around a foot. The snow is wet heavy goop and the ground is warm so the streets are starting to flood.

The rest of the week is expected to be warm, so there should be little evidence of the storm by the weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Korea (Part 7) Seoul Airport

Airport looks like a space ship.

The interior is not unlike SFO's international terminal.

The duty free shop.

Korea (Part 6) City of Seoul

City of Seoul from the top of the 63 building looking north.

Bridge over the Hangang river at night.

Many restaurants have very fresh fish on the menu.

This women street vender started by pounding a root with a large wooden mallet, before boiling the paste. Other women rolled the paste into bars.

Fire hydrant on the street.

Koreans love to socialize late into the night.

Beautiful wrapping of a purchase.

Construction safety poster.

Starbucks Korea.

Downtown shopping district.


Safety station in the Seoul subway.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Korea (Part 5) Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden

Next we visited the East Palace called Changdeokgung, translated as the Palace of Prospering Virtue.

The roof line of the palaces have interesting details. This spout looks like a Crane, which is a royal symbol.

In Korea the winters can be very cold. To make up for this, the buildings are heated by heating the floors. This shows the chimney for the under floor furnace.

The Juhamnu Royal archive or library was built in 1776.

To enter the library, one must pass through the gate. The center gate was only for the king. The two side gates are for the military and the administrators. Notice that they are too short to pass through without stooping. So many things in the palace architecture were designed to remind people of their place.

Korea (Part 4) Jogye-sa Buddhist Temple

Typically Buddhist temples are located in the mountains as they are considered places of power. Therefore it is unusual that there is a temple located within the city limits of Seoul.

This temple bell is just a few years old. It replaces the original bell, which is too fragile to use, and which is now housed within the main temple.

This is the main Buddha statue. If you look closely you can see the offering of bottle water and cookies on the bench in front of him. All proceeds go to supporting the Monks that maintain the temple.

This gray pine tree (Pinus bungeana Zucc) is around 500 years old and is designated a national monument. As the tree ages, the bark peels away and the trunk turns a grayish white color.

Korea (Part 3) Gyeongbokgung Palace

Seoul has numerous cultural sites within the city. Many of them were destroyed by two Japanese occupations in 1590's and 1910, and shelling during the Korean war. Since the 1950's the government has been slowly rebuilding the lost structures.

I got the chance to visit two of the palace sites. The first is Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is the first royal palace built in Seoul.

To get to the palace, it is necessary to pass through three gates. This is the second gate, which now acts as the park entrance.

Inside of this gate is a collection of statues. These mythological creatures were intended to force the King's bureaucrats and administrators into telling the truth. Something in critical need today.

The palace throne room is decorated in bright colors, signifying royalty.

The bright designs extend to the palace exterior, again signifying royalty.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Korea (Part 2) Conference

My meeting was in the Kintex center, a huge convention facility about 30 miles north west of my hotel. The center is located on the former rice fields, which were used to construct the Olympic stadium and village. Here is the entrance to the facility.

This is part of the exterior. The cylinder on the left is a large auditorium, while the smaller cylinder in the center is a stair.

From the cylinder is a clear view of the old Olympic village, now turned into apartment buildings.

Here are a few interior shots.

First Snow of Fall

We just got our first snow here in Denver and for the moment its sticking. A live web cam can be found here.

The little black dog doesn't know what to think of this white stuff in her yard. It interfers with her lounging in the back yard. She just looks at us as if to say make it go away. On the other hand she doesn't even notice getting dusted when going for a walk.

The view from work. Something I'll never tire of.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Korea (Part 1)

I got the opportunity to visit Korea last week for work. It was my first trip to anywhere in Asia. I flew on Asiana airways from Denver to San Francisco and then on to Seoul.

I flew on a Boeing 777, which was pretty comfortable. My plane has an elaborate the seat back entertainment system. I spent most of the flight out watching movies and playing video games with the guy in the seat next to me. He was an air force translator heading back to his post in Korea. He'd done his language training at the DLI in Monterey CA, which is near where we moved to Colorado from.

Had a nice lunch at the Seoul airport. The bottle of grean tea was fantastic. The international wind of SFO also has nice Asian lunch options.

The room was clean and comfortable, although the bed took some getting used to.

Next to the door is a card slot. Placing the room's key card into the slot activates the power to the room. I was later told that these are commonly found in hotel rooms in Asia.

I stayed at the Yoido Hotel located on Yeouido Island, on the south side of the Hangang river. The Hangang river bisects city of Seoul. the northern half of the river is the older part of town containing much of the cultural centers, the southern half of town contains the modern business district and the suburbs.
My room has a great view of the Hangang river. This shot was taken at sunrise, toward the north east.

This shot was also taken at sunrise, but toward the north west.

Bad Kitty

My human disappears for a week in Korea and all I got was a bad kitty!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

List of corporate executives charged with crimes

Don't you just love Wikipedia. Here's a list of the top corporate criminals. The top ten are;
1 Bernard Ebbers
2 Scott D. Sullivan
3 John Rigas and sons
4 Dennis Kozlowski
5 Mark Swartz
6 Al Dunlap
7 Joseph Nacchio
8 Andrew Fastow
9 Ken Lay
10 Jeffrey Skilling

Play the Foley House Trick or Treat Game

Choose the right response when Foley answers the door to acquire the most candy before you must flee.
Play here.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Blessing of the Animals

Kelly went to church today. She was not alone. Today was the blessing of the animals. She was a good girl and behaved herself inside the sanctuary. After a short service the animals were taken outside for the blessing. Kelly wasn't too sure what this was all about.

Fall on Colorado's Front Range

Fall has made a sudden appearance here on the front range.